For serious e-mail messages (maybe you're asking for an appointment, or a make-up assignment, or asking for me to do some serious thinking) the quality of your writing should reflect the sincerity of your request.I get anywhere from 50-100 important e-mail messages each day, which means I put a lot of time into filtering out the junk mail. You can help me respond more quickly to your important messages if you take a few simple but important steps:
- Avoid sending attachments (if possible). Unless I need to see the whole document in order to help you, just copy-paste the relevant passage right into the e-mail.
- Include your real name somewhere in the message. (Chances are I won't recognize "firstname.lastname@example.org".)
- Write a meaningful subject line.
- Subject: "EL250: How should I submit Ex 1?"
- Subject: "EL250: Can you suggest any text-based games that deal with orphans, either literally or figuratively?"
The subject line makes it very clear that the first question will only take me a second to answer, so I'd answer it first. The second one will take a bit of time, so I might save it until I know I'll have a few uninterrupted minutes to do some research.
- Subject: "A question about class."
What class? What kind of question? Can you ask the question right there in the subject line?
A blank subject line doesn't give me any reason to bump your message ahead of the rest.
Office Hours: J-Term 2010
I will often be working from home during J-Term, but if you'd like to arrange a meeting on campus, I'd be happy to do so.